After a long, confusing school year, summer is the perfect opportunity to read for fun. Novels are great choices for older kids, and several are available as a series.
For younger kids, there are many series available at bookstores and libraries that will keep kids engaged all summer long.
Take the boredom out of summer and get kids reading great books. It’s time well spent.
Books to borrow
The following book is available at many public libraries.
“Minnie and Moo: The Night of the Living Bed” written and illustrated by Denys Cazet, HarperCollins, 48 pages
Read aloud: age 4 and older.
Read yourself: age 7 and older.
Another in HarperCollins’ “I Can Read” series, this hilarious story of Minnie and Moo is bound to keep kids in stitches.
Minnie and Moo are cows, best friends, and Minnie loves chocolate more than anything. One night the two friends are fast asleep in their bed under a tree on a hill when Minnie has a bad dream — a giant mouse eats the last piece bit of chocolate in the whole world. Minnie is so terrified, she wakes up yelling, shaking Moo, and they both tumble out of bed. Their tumbling causes the bed to roll down the hill, and the two cows dash after it in hot pursuit.
Catching up to the runaway bed, Minnie and Moo hop on as the bed zooms through a barn and scoops up more animals and proceeds straight into town. One bizarre event leads to another, and it’s Halloween night with trick-or-treaters all over the place. Maybe they could join the fun and get some chocolate after all.
Get ready for a wild ride in more ways than one — this adventure of Minnie and Moo is pure delight!
Library: Brandywine Community Library, 60 Tower Drive, Topton
Library director: Heather Wicke
Youth services coordinator: Amber Hadley
Choices this week: “Bird Tales from Near and Far” retold by Susan Milford; “Dinosaurumpus!” by Tony Mitton; “Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures” by Kate DiCamillo
Books to buy
The following books are available at favorite bookstores.
“The Thief of Worlds” by Bruce Coville, Random House, 275 pages, $16.99 hardcover
Read aloud: age 8 – 12.
Read yourself: age 9 – 12.
Twelve-year-old Hurricane has always felt deeply connected to the wind since his birth during an intense hurricane. Now, the wind has stopped all over the world. The air is hot and still, making it hard to breathe, and because of this, people are becoming sick, including Hurricane’s mother.
Scientists have no explanation and no ability to change this disaster, but there is one odd fellow who knows what has happened and how to fix things: Zephron Windlord, overseer of the wind. The Windlord shows up at Hurricane’s apartment and announces that the wind has been stolen and that Hurricane is the only one who can find the thief, recover the magical wind horn and return the world to normal.
But to accomplish this, Hurricane will have to travel through different worlds, and as he does, he discovers each world has its own environmental crisis. As Hurricane searches for the thief and the wind horn, he develops friendships with a host of otherworldly characters who join Hurricane in their collective quest to save all the worlds.
Fast-paced and loaded with action, this fantasy is a brilliant adventure, making “The Thief of Worlds” an excellent choice for can’t-put-it-down summer reading.
“Deadman’s Castle” by Iain Lawrence, Margaret Ferguson Books, 2021, 256 pages, $17.99 hardcover
Read aloud: age 9 – 12.
Read yourself: age 10 – 12.
Author Iain Lawrence masterfully and consistently keeps his readers guessing until the very end, and “Deadman’s Castle” is no exception.
Ever since Igor was 5 years old, he and his family have been on the run after Igor’s father witnessed a terrible crime and the Lizard Man vowed revenge. Now that Igor is 12, his family is in yet again a new house with the usual locked doors and drawn curtains. With even greater restrictions on his movements, Igor and his family are always on the lookout for Lizard Man.
In a strange twist for Igor, he is allowed to go to school for the first time since kindergarten, where he finally makes some friends. Longing for a normal life, Igor ignores some of his father’s rules and finds himself enjoying his secretive freedom. If anything goes wrong, Igor still has his $100 bill in his sock that also has a phone number to call the “Protectors” if needed.
Not long thereafter, Igor’s little sister whispers to him that she saw the Lizard Man. Knowing his father’s rule that Igor should tell him if anyone spots Lizard Man, Igor is reluctant because that means they will be on the run again and his friends will vanish from his life. But not telling him could result in the unthinkable.
Riveting from start to finish, “Deadman’s Castle” is pitch perfect in every way.
Nationally syndicated, Kendal Rautzhan writes and lectures on children’s literature. She can be reached at email@example.com.